A MAN who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s four years ago has completed a 1,340km charity bike ride to raise awareness of the condition.

Gary Shaughnessy cycled from Zurich in Switzerland to his home in Ashford Hill.

The 53-year-old competed the ride as part of a series of challenges he is undertaking in support of Parkinson’s UK and his employer Z Zurich Foundation’s community programmes.

Gary, who is a trustee at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Four years ago I developed a tremor in my right leg. It came out of nowhere but it was something I couldn’t stop.

“After seeing a doctor I was told it was most likely restless leg syndrome and I was given some information and told to relax.

“When it didn’t get any better I was referred to a neurologist, and after some scans I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

“I didn’t really know what Parkinson’s was, so at first it didn’t really sink in what it actually meant, or the fact that there isn’t a cure.

“Since being diagnosed I’ve now lost my sense of smell entirely and my tremor also affects my right hand, although I’ve been lucky that so far the deterioration has been quite slow. Everyone around me has also been so supportive, my employers have been brilliant and so has my family.”

As well as his own fundraising, Gary’s wife Janey has also added £13,000 for the causes, with the couple raising more than £30,000 for the charities.

He added: “This challenge is also about me feeling more in control of my Parkinson’s. The condition makes you feel like you’ve lost control, but when I’m running and doing exercise I feel more in charge and it helps relieve my symptoms.

“It helps me poke Parkinson’s in the eye.”

Gary is still collection donations to help the charities.

To support him visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GaryShaughnessy.